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View Poll Results: Would you volunteer more if you had $700 chairs in your day room?

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  1. #21
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Type of furniture? Well, if it's normal everyday chairs/couches compared to queen size beds...I guess that would make a difference. If we're talking chairs at a 8' long "bingo" table vs barstools lined up at the bar...it might make a difference. If we are talking wicker furniture vs leather....maybe.

    Does it have any effect on wanting to volunteer more/less? The first time a guy tells me firehouse furniture has ANYTHING to do with the time he spends there...he leaves the building for the last time.

    You can't be f'ing serious.
    Yup.

    As it is, we have a beautiful "lounge" and after drills most guys hang out in the bays sitting on the tailboard.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

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  2. #22
    FF-EMT Mzanghetti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    The first time a guy tells me firehouse furniture has ANYTHING to do with the time he spends there...he leaves the building for the last time.
    Seems a bit harsh, or do you have more volunteers than you know what to do with and can afford to just run them off? It is a stupid reason to volunteer but if they find a better reason to stay who loses?
    Mark Zanghetti
    FF-EMT
    Goshen Fire Dept.
    Waterford, CT

  3. #23
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    The quality of the furniture and day room would not make much if any difference to me , the condition would. If stuff in the day room / lounge is dirty and in dis repair , its a good bet that the important stuff (tools apparatus etc) is being neglected. I know there are exceptions , but if a floor needs swept , an axe also needs attention.
    ?

  4. #24
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    Honestly I would be more interested in getting comfortable chairs for my station's training room than anything for the day room. I spend most of my time in the station in the training room, and hardly any at all in the day room. Since I see the other volunteers out and about, I assume that most of them spend little time in the day room as well. In fact they mostly seem to stand around on the front apron, socializing.

    By the way, I'm talking about executive-type office chairs instead of welded metal frames with a bit of padding attached. Why would I want more comfortable chairs in the training room? So as I'm sitting there reading my Firefighter I text, I can concentrate more on the book and less on how uncomfortable the chair is.
    -Justin J. "JJR512" Rebbert

    The comments and opinions I express are solely my own and do not necessarily represent those of any employer or volunteer organization with which I am associated. Nobody is responsible for anything I say other than I alone.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firefighter6034 View Post
    Would the type of furniture in your day room encourage recruitment and retention? Would you want to volunteer more if you have $700 chairs to sit or would you volunteer the same without them?
    The furniture doesn't really affect recruitement and retention so much as whether the guys want to hang around the station in the evenings or not. We have a lot of live in members right now, and making the station comfortable for them makes them want to stick around when they are not training or working. If keeping them happy helps get them to spend their spare time at the station, then a few dollars to buy comfortable furniture is worth it.

  6. #26
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mzanghetti View Post
    Seems a bit harsh, or do you have more volunteers than you know what to do with and can afford to just run them off? It is a stupid reason to volunteer but if they find a better reason to stay who loses?
    No, we are not overloaded with guys.

    But if their reason for being there in any way relates to the furniture in the building...they are there for very wrong reasons.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  7. #27
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    I'm guessing some nice furniture would help the Lindwood Fire Department that is starting up in Trenton, NJ.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    I'm guessing some nice furniture would help the Lindwood Fire Department that is starting up in Trenton, NJ.
    Assuming they had a station to put it in.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

  9. #29
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Assuming they had a station to put it in.
    They could use the cardboard that the furniture is shipped in.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

  10. #30
    MembersZone Subscriber voyager9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eng34FF View Post
    The furniture doesn't really affect recruitement and retention so much as whether the guys want to hang around the station in the evenings or not. We have a lot of live in members right now, and making the station comfortable for them makes them want to stick around when they are not training or working. If keeping them happy helps get them to spend their spare time at the station, then a few dollars to buy comfortable furniture is worth it.
    This.

    While nobody is going to volunteer "for the furniture", having a day room that is comfortable and has TV..etc definitely will encourage guys to hang out at the station on their off time. And nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd.

    Certainly having a member say that they only joined for the Lay-Z-boy is probably in it for wrong reasons, but that's different from a member saying they hang out at the station longer because of the chairs.

    If a department can spend some money for a comfortable day room and increase their available (in house) staffing X% because guys are hanging out.. isn't that a win:win?

    Note: We did spend Recruitment/Retention money on lounge chairs and a new TV for our day room. We've seen the above benefits, especially during NFL/NHL season. I'm pretty sure they weren't $700 each, though.
    So you call this your free country
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  11. #31
    MembersZone Subscriber dmleblanc's Avatar
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    Let me start out by saying that I wish our station HAD a day room. Or a kitchen. Or a full bathroom. Or cable or a decent size television or any furniture that isn't of the metal folding variety

    Our station is, for the time being at least, a VERY uncomfortable place to hang out. One small office and an upstairs meeting room that is dingy and up a steep narrow set of stairs. It's almost like climbing up into the attic. Consequently, guys don't just "hang out" there much...We show up and do what we need to do as far as training, maintenance, etc., but there's no real incentive to spend time there other than that.

    I don't think anyone signs up for the furniture, or even for the day room or any other amenities the station might have. BUT, I think it would make a great deal of difference in getting guys to hang out there in their free time, and therefore, possibly be at the station when a call comes in.

    There is still a large social aspect to volunteer fire departments. People join to serve their community, but also because they want to belong to something and in many cases because they have a friend, relative, or other acquaintaince in the department. I believe that having a nice station contributes to that. Around here, being in the fire department is sort of like belonging to a club, and every club needs a clubhouse. It should be a place that is inviting to spend time at, not just a place to park the trucks.

    Now, having said all that, we are about to break ground on a new main station. Our new station will have all that (or at least SPACE for all that, what it evolves into remains to be seen). We'll finally have a kitchen. A free meal is a big incentive to show up for meetings, etc. Members should attend the meetings anyway, yes, but will you get a better turnout if you have a supper? Absolutely. We'll also have space for a lounge area/day room, workout room, full locker rooms with showers, and a sleeping area. We have none of that now.

    Will it matter if the chairs are $700 or $200? I don't think so. Will it matter that we have some chairs? Yep
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    — C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

  12. #32
    MembersZone Subscriber voyager9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmleblanc View Post
    Let me start out by saying that I wish our station HAD a day room. Or a kitchen. Or a full bathroom. Or cable or a decent size television or any furniture that isn't of the metal folding variety


    We'll also have space for a lounge area/day room, workout room, full locker rooms with showers, and a sleeping area. We have none of that now.
    But the bathroom will still be out back with the moon on the door, right?
    So you call this your free country
    Tell me why it costs so much to live
    -3dd

  13. #33
    MembersZone Subscriber dmleblanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by voyager9 View Post
    But the bathroom will still be out back with the moon on the door, right?
    What we got right now ain't much better than that, let me tell ya It's in the building alright, but it's just a little closet at the back of one of the engine bays. It used to be a little bigger but we had to knock out a wall years ago to fit a longer engine in that bay. So the "bathroom" is about 3'x6' with just a commode, and the lavatory is on the back wall of the engine bay. No shower, no men's and women's facilities, just one hole, take a number
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    — C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

  14. #34
    MembersZone Subscriber tree68's Avatar
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    The specific question - $700 chairs - may be a little over the top, but the idea that the folks have a place to kick back, watch the race, play a video game, or maybe a game of cards can't hurt the chances of folks hanging around the station more.

    I know a chief who shared that the best decision he ever made was to take the lock off the 'fridge with the soda in it.

    My son's vollie department has a large table with a number of chairs around it where on-duty crews can hang out, watch the big-screen TV on the wall, or just chew the fat. It's in the apparatus bays, but they keep their bays cleaner than many. The chairs are more in the realm of office chairs, and nothing fancy, but they do the job.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

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  15. #35
    MembersZone Subscriber dmleblanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tree68 View Post

    I know a chief who shared that the best decision he ever made was to take the lock off the 'fridge with the soda in it.

    .
    Yeah, we did that too a few years back. Used to have a soda machine but everyone knew where the key was, and it was understood that after a call the drinks were free. So we finally just did away with the machine altogether and now we keep a fridge stocked with soft drinks, sports drinks and water, no charge. Runs us a few bucks every year to keep it stocked but it's a small price to pay to keep the troops happy.
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    — C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmleblanc View Post
    Yeah, we did that too a few years back. Used to have a soda machine but everyone knew where the key was, and it was understood that after a call the drinks were free. So we finally just did away with the machine altogether and now we keep a fridge stocked with soft drinks, sports drinks and water, no charge. Runs us a few bucks every year to keep it stocked but it's a small price to pay to keep the troops happy.
    Free soda and no bathroom sounds like a recipe for disaster.. Do you have an all-you-can-eat-chili night too

    We used to have a soda dispenser that the district paid for.. that was removed years ago. Now we bought a soda machine and keep it stocked ourselves. Everything is $0.50 and the proceeds go toward keeping it filled. Nobody seems to mind paying a little and most times there's a stack of quarters near the thing for the next guy.
    So you call this your free country
    Tell me why it costs so much to live
    -3dd

  17. #37
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    I purchased 10 new recliners for our dayroom and added a new flat screen on the wall and I dont know about recruitment but if sure does retain guys hanging out at the house and being around the station when a call comes in. I believe it made a positive impact on my department.

  18. #38
    Forum Member DarkStarr's Avatar
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    At first I thought this thread was retarded but liked the way it turned out. Im on the r/r commitee and have some ideas as a result of this thread.

  19. #39
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    A past chief of a nearby department commented that "if we brought the beer machine back that would bring in members!"

    Scary, but he wasn't kidding!

    I voted no in the poll, but comfy furniture and a nice tv keeps our guys hanging out at the firehouse more. Whether they join because of that seems doubtful.

    But then they also sit on the front bumpers with the bay doors open and seem just as content.

    Bottom line, we always have people at the firehouse!
    Last edited by Clutchcargo1; 05-01-2011 at 12:10 PM. Reason: spelling error

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clutchcargo1 View Post
    A past chief of a nearby department commented that "if we brought the beer machine back that would bring in members!"

    Scary, but he wasn't kidding!

    I voted no in the poll, but comfy furniture and a nice tv keeps our guys hanging out at the firehouse more. Whether they join because of that seems doubtful.

    But then they also sit on the front bumpers with the bay doors open and seem just as content.

    Bottom line, we always have people at the firehouse!
    In that case I'll stop by this summer when I drive from Albany to Burlington (or the other way around on the way back).
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

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